The European Refugee Crisis

Italian navy rescue asylum seekers
June 7, 2014 – Mediterranean Sea / Italy: Refugees rescued off a boat and carried onto an Italian navy ship on a mission to seek asylum seekers fleeing Africa and the Middle east through Libya. More than 2,000 migrants jammed in 25 boats arrived in Italy June 12, ending an international operation to rescue asylum seekers traveling from Libya. They were taken to three Italian ports and likely to be transferred to refugee centers inland. Hundreds of women and dozens of babies, were rescued by the frigate FREMM Bergamini as part of the Italian navy’s “Mare Nostrum” operation, launched last year after two boats sank and more than 400 drowned. Favorable weather is encouraging thousands of migrants from Syria, Eritrea and other sub-Saharan countries to arrive on the Italian coast in the coming days. Cost of passage is in the 2,500 Euros range for Africans and 3,500 for Middle Easterners, per person. Over 50,000 migrants have landed Italy in 2014. Many thousands are in Libya waiting to make the crossing. (Massimo Sestini/Polaris)

Many in Germany, not all, welcome the record wave of migrants. Germany is an aging nation of 81 million facing a demographic time bomb. Her morbidly low birthrate has created ghosts towns and empty schools throughout the land, especially in the east. Who will build the Volkswagens and Mercedes of tomorrow? Who will provide the retirement benefits of an aging population too self absorbed to have children? Germany in the future may not be as white, Christian, or “German” as it is today. Responding that refugees would bring more Islamist terror, Chancellor Angela Merkel said “Fear is a bad adviser.” But is “economic desperation” a better advisor?

Hungary’s Prime Minister, the outspoken and “Trumpish” Viktor Orban (aka “the Viktator”) has opposed and impeded the flood of immigrants, and called the Muslim refugees a threat to Europe’s “Christian roots”. Orban’s fears are shared by other Eastern European nations, which have resisted accepting asylum-seekers.  Slovakia has said it will accept only Christians. The crisis has created division in European unity. “This is a crucial moment for the European Union,” European Parliament President Martin Schulz said. “A deeper split of the union is a risk we cannot exclude.”

Those opposed to mass waves of refugees have good historical reasons to justify their positions.  Not all immigrants seek peace. Many undoubtedly have ties it terrorism.  Muslims already have a track record of hostility towards western values and culture. Thomas Sowell claims that the children of refugees may not be as aware or grateful as their parents for escaping the horrors of the Middle East:

All the new generation will know is that they are not doing as well as other people in the country where they live. They will also know that the values of their culture clash with the values of the Western culture around them. And there will be no lack of “leaders” to tell them that they have been “wronged” including some who will urge them to jihad”

It is no accident that there is a refugee crisis in the Middle East. The pullout of American troops from a subdued Iraq allowed for the rise of ISIS and its conflict with Iran and Iraq. Says Sowell:  “The rise of ISIS was dismissed as just a junior varsity team trying to look like a serious threat. But now that ISIS controls a big chunk of Iraq and a big chunk of Syria, it is the Obama foreign policy that looks like the work of a junior varsity team”

Sowell has a point. The secular America Left has long desired an American retreat from the world scene. However, their philosophy refuses them to admit the existence of evil or its relentless nature.  Therefore they are blinded to the consequences of their actions, which in matters of war and peace can become deadly. In his book “America in Retreat” Bret Stephens predicted that absent America as world policeman “dictators will contend or unite to fill the breach”.

Europeans have in a sense created their own problem.  Since World War 2, they have spent precious little on defense and relied on America for protection against external threats thus allowing for a more generous welfare state.  After America withdrew as guardian in the Middle East they were unable militarily to fill the void. As the horrors in Iraq and Syria intensified the refugees came. Will the refugees fill the role (say) of highly skilled German workers and allow their welfare state to continue? I doubt it. The Germans are successful not simply because they are intelligent. It is because they are … well … German. The refugees certainly will not assimilate in their new homelands.  Saudi Arabia, while not accepting any refugees itself, has offered to build them 200 mosques.  Europe will be transformed and perhaps violently, as surely as a house that is divided cannot stand.

By the way, where did Europeans get the idea that large families are more of a drain on prosperity than an investment in it? More than anything, it was the false notion promoted by German philosophers especially after WW 1 of the futility of religion. The religions of Christianity and Judaism teach the indispensible value of the family and children. One of the first commands from God to mankind given in Genesis is: “… a man shall be joined to his wife … be fruitful and multiply” The family is the cornerstone of a healthy society and guarantor of future generations. To reject religion is to devalue belief in the family.

The Pope urges all Europe to accept and welcome the refugees. This seems like a good Christian idea. Meanwhile, how should we in America approach our own problem of refugees and immigrants?  Should America allow uncontrolled immigration on our southern border because of poverty in Mexico?  Are “sanctuary cities” and generous welfare benefits for illegal aliens part of a wise solution?

The Bible certainly teaches compassion and mercy.  But mercy always is dispensed in the aftermath of justice.  God first established in the universe His law, both natural and spiritual, then reserved for Himself the option to forgive when law is broken.  What does He require of man?  His basic requirement is that man seeks justice, loves mercy, and conducts himself humbly before his Creator (Micah 6:8) Justice is synonymous with a framework of principles allowing man to pursue happiness yet live in harmony with his fellow man. If the framework is “broken” the solution is NOT to administer more mercy but rather to fix the framework.

With respect to America’s immigration problem, the border needs to be secured and immigration laws enforced in a manner that is fair for all applicants.  Only THEN are we in a position to wisely, not randomly, extend mercy and compassion.

With respect to Europe, the framework was shattered when America withdrew and “ended the war” … a decision that became bitter mockery leading to renewed war, unspeakable horrors and a dark future.  This decision created a dire situation for many and in the short term, mercy is the only solution. But as more mercy is extended by accepting refugees as permanent residents into Europe, the more it is likely seeds of future Islamic violence are sown there..
This dismal story is far from over.

One comment

  1. I would like to hear more explanation as to why these immigrants are fleeing their own country. Thanks. Very interesting and informative.


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